Anise for Dogs – Is it Dognip?

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Is there dognip? Everybody’s heard of Catnip, and the almost magical effect on cats. Anise for dogs is often rumored to produce similar results on our canine friends, but is it dognip?  The seeds obtained from the anise plant are the main ingredients used in the product anise.

Anise for dogs - a pile of anise seeds

It has historically been used as herbal medicine by societies for embarrassing issues such as flatulence and bad breath. This wonder herb is also used as a treatment for insomnia, and as an ingredient in teas and cooking recipes. Anise is an aromatic sweet-smelling and is a bit like fennel or licorice in flavor.

However, when dogs are given anise seeds, treats, or are exposed to the scent of anise oil, something remarkable happens. Dogs demonstrate the same response as cats when exposed to catnip. So, you could say that anise is actually catnip for dogs or dognip.

Anise for Dogs — Benefits

Catnip is an herb that’s associated with sending cats into a state of euphoria, or what long-haired hippies would call “getting high”.

Just like a spaced-out hippy, cats can become sexually responsive when high on catnip. This is due to the artificial pheromone it contains.

Dogs however, do not respond to catnip in the same way, but they do respond to anise.

Temperament

After many years of research into Anise, veterinary herbal medicine practitioners have discovered some unique qualities. A dog high on anise can show different effects, depending on their natural temperament.

Close up of a very calm bull dog

Strangely, dogs with a mellow nature become active and alert after a dose of anise. While dogs that are hyperactive in nature become mellow. They discovered that the herb’s overall effect on your dog depends on their temperament, breed, age, and weight.

Furthermore, dogs can be motivated to follow or chase the scent of anise.

Scent

Traditionally, anise was used as a mental stimulant on dogs that were used in hunting and racing communities to fire them up. Owners would use anise oil to create a trail for the dogs to follow. At track events, they would cover lures and targets in oil before the start of a greyhound race.

Dogs are famous for their super-sensitive noses and their amazing abilities to find practically anything. This is why they are widely used by the police, army, and rescue services. Their finely tuned noses are used to locate narcotics, explosives, and people, in situations that even hi tech gadgets can’t detect.

Anise for dogs - rescue dog sniffing in the snow for victims that are buried.

This is where anise comes in handy.

The trainers that train these specialist dogs for detection, use the aniseeds and anise oil to amplify their behavioral characteristics associated with detecting smells.

The strong scent of anise is used to get the dogs highly excited and motivated for training. It keeps the dogs engaged, enthusiastic, and focused for longer.

Health

Anise for dogs has a lot of health benefits too. As a  medicinal herb, it helps with digestive problems like nausea, irritable bowels, or flatulence.

Remarkably, it’s also used for treating more severe conditions. These conditions can include seizures, respiratory issues like pneumonia, coughs, nasal discharge, and chest congestion.

Anise has antiviral and antibacterial properties that help fight infections naturally. It also strengthens the immune system by keeping cancer and cardiovascular diseases at bay.

Is Anise safe for Dogs?

In moderation, anise is said to be safe and healthy for dogs. Giving your dog too much, however, can be dangerous, and in some rare cases, prove fatal to the unfortunate dog.

Too much anise may cause the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Lowered heart rate
  • Decreased respiration rate
  • Upset stomach
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma
  • Vomiting
  • Suppressed nervous system

If your dog has eaten too much anise and is having problems breathing, or his heart rate has decreased, or if they’re displaying one or more of the symptoms shown above; contact your vet straight away.

Can Dogs Eat Anise? — How to Give Anise to Your Dog

Can dogs eat anise? Yes, it can be given to dogs in both its raw natural form or as a powder.

There are many ways in which you can give anise to your dog, you can mix the powder into their regular food, or just feed them the anise seeds directly. The flavor and scent of anise are quite exciting for dogs, so it can make an excellent reward for good behavior.

With numerous dog treats available on the market containing anise, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Anise treats are found in many pet stores countywide and are stocked at all good internet pet sites. Another great alternative is to bake your own treats, and you’ll be very popular with your furry best friend.

Anise for dogs - dog patiently waiting for a treat.

If you decide to feed anise to your dog, start with a small amount, or just a pinch of anise seed for dogs. Slowly increase the amount until you get the desired effect, just don’t overdo it. If you’re unsure about the correct anise and dogs dosage, it might be a good idea to consult your vet. A dog’s age and size are a key factor in its effectiveness.

Anise Oil for Dogs

Another technique is to use anise oil for your dog and allow his super-sensitive nose to inhale the scent. The intoxicating aroma can have a rapid calming effect on your dog.

When using anise essential oil, it’s standard practice to dilute it. This is done by pouring in a small quantity of sweet almond oil to form a mixture.

Your dog must never be given anise oil to ingest nor should the oil be applied directly to the skin.

Anise Seed for Dogs

Dogs can safely consume a pinch of anise seed sprinkled on their food. You can also grind anise seed for dogs, and add it to dog treats like biscuits, or give it to them as a herbed food. You can also prepare anise tea for your furry friend to drink.

Some types of anise dog treats include:

  • Anise canine brownies
  • Oat bran anise treats
  • Anise carrot cookies
  • Molasses and anise treats
  • Peanut butter and anise treats

So is Anise Dognip?

Anise for dogs isn’t exactly the same as catnip, but it’s a close alternative. For example,  if you coat your dog’s toys in anise oil, the odor will get them extremely excited. 

Anise as a dognip can bring a change in your dog’s behavior. It may lead to a reduced activity or can increase liveliness and vigor depending on weight, age, or breed.

Healthy dog running on the beach and through the water.

On average, using about 3-5 anise seeds on a pound of dog food is enough to keep a dog calm and content, while a drink of dognip tea or water can keep your furry friend sedated.

Conclusion

Anise is often referred to as dognip, as it shares many of its intoxicating characteristics with catnip.

This wonder herb is not only used to calm dogs, but can even arouse a dog’s senses and whip him up into a state of excitement.

The best trainers in the world use it to train rescue and police dogs, as it stimulates them to do their best and the effect can last for two to three hours.

Not only that, anise has many medical benefits for your dogs health.

Dog sleeping on the sofa

Used properly, anise for dogs is a fantastic tool to combat anxiety, and we highly recommend it.

That said, be aware that if you do use it, use it wisely. Dogs love anise, and if your dog can sneakily find your stash, chances are that your furry friend will eat it all and you’ll be paying a hasty visit to the vet.

Don’t overfeed anise to your dog, and make sure your supply is out of reach and safely away in a cupboard or drawer.

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grey dog lying on his back, playful

Sources

Anise — Wikipedia

Veterinary Herbal Medicine — Research

Frontiers in Veterinary Science

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